The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State as well as the former governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam, have dismissed the inauguration of a parallel executive committee in the state by the factional chairman of party, Ali Modu Sheriff, saying that Sheriff’s visit was to cement his relationship with the All Progressives Congress in the state.
In separate statements made available to journalists in Abuja, the Benue State chapter of PDP and Suswam wondered how Sheriff could be working for the interest of PDP and yet visited Benue State without visiting the state secretariat of the party.
The PDP statement issued by the state chairman of the party, John Ngbede, noted that for a governor who had refused to allow PDP access to public facilities in the state only to receive Senator Sheriff was an indication that Sheriff was not in the state in the interest of the PDP.
The statement reads: “We have observed with interest the visit to the state Friday by a former national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, during which he was received in solidarity by newly appointed Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, and the state governor, Samuel Ortom, who extended to him compliments of state protocol and courtesy including official transport and security escort.
“Ironically, the same Governor Ortom has since assumption of office refused the PDP in the state use of public spaces for its functions, even including in May this year when the party was denied space to hold its state congress for the election and inauguration of its State Exco, yet he opened his arms wide to embrace Sherrif.
“Be it noted that no national leader of the PDP visiting the state on legitimate party business will completely shun the party’s state secretariat and prefer to consult with leaders of another political party as Sherrif did.
“It was an act of utmost political recklessness for functionaries of the APC-controlled Ortom administration in the state to be seen playing active part in the visit of Sherrif and taking up supposed positions on the purported arrangement of a Sherrif faction of the party.
“Subsisting court judgements have given legitimacy to the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi as its highest leadership organ duly mandated and running the affairs of the party, with all statutory organs and members of the party at the national level and in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT Abuja, the 11 state governors on the platform of the party and the National Assembly Caucus all loyal to it.